How To | Be Productive in a Demanding Environment
There are only so many hours in a day, and I have no doubt that – just like us – you enjoy your work, but you also want to have a life too – right?
Yet the reality is that we are living in an increasingly demanding world. To achieve your goals
there are two simple things you can do. 1) work longer days, and 2) work the same hours and increase your productivity.
It goes without saying which is the most attractive of the two!
If you head over to Google and type in “How to be more productive” there are 44, 500, 000 search results; obviously a favourite topic.
To make things easier for you this post takes you through 6 ways to increase your productivity; so, let’s get started.
Take Care of Yourself
I won’t apologise for starting here as I fully believe it is the start of being more productive. If you are getting by on 5 or 6 hours sleep, using multiple cans of fizzy sugar drinks or a plentiful supply of coffee to get you through your day.
It’s not sustainable, and your work long term will suffer as will your health.
- Get a good night’s sleep: 7-8 hours.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food: stop the caffeine and sugar over loads.
- Take regular exercise: A short walk at lunch time will revive your energy and clear your head.
- Have regular breaks during your day: Take lunch away from your desk when in the office.
Did you know your brain cannot focus on more than one thing at a time, so the process of trying to do that means that you’re never really focusing on anything, effectively?
There’s a wealth of research online if you have time to go check it out. Top tip: Focus on one thing at a time and notice the difference.
Are you guilty of:
- Reading an email while on a call because you heard it ping through or saw it on your screen?
- Have you got Facebook open in a browser or LinkedIn?
- Are push notifications activated on your phone?
If you are saying yes to any of these 3, then rest assured you are not on your own. The fact is these are all distractions that can be removed today. They consume your time and energy.
If your work means you need to use different online platforms, plan the time into your diary and focus on the task at hand. Do yourself a favour, turn off all notifications and watch your productivity soar.
Know Your Most Productive Time
You have probably noticed that there are times in your day when you are more productive than others and times when certain tasks are easier to complete.
If I have something that’s not my favourite thing to do and I really should concentrate, and we all have them, early in the day is my best time.
Also, we can’t possibly operate at full throttle all day. Plan your day so that your work in blocks of time.
Plan what you do in those blocks around the times of day when you know you are at your best to do those tasks. David Allen explains more on this strategy in his book, Getting Things Done.
The Rule Of 3
The rule of 3 is a great strategy to boost your productivity at speed.
Start each week knowing what your top 3 priorities are. Then start each day knowing what your daily 3 priorities are. Each day your activities are then geared towards achieving your 3 weekly priorities.
Chris Bailey, the author of The Productivity Project, says “having just three items to focus on throughout the day and week will help you stay centred and accomplish more, even on days when everything hits the fan.”
Learn to Say No
Some people find it easy to say no, while for others it’s a bigger challenge, the fact is until you learn to say no, you will never be as productive as you could be.
Why? Because others will continue to make demands on your time; it’s a simple as that.
The result is you will continue to spread yourself too thin and will not be able to finish what you want, with the quality you want, or on time.
If you start using any of these strategies you will notice a difference in your productivity. When you use several them at the same time, you will start to stand out from your peers like never before.
If you do this and are still not getting noticed, maybe now is the time to look for a new career challenge. Call us on 01743 247774 or email us here.